15 Events to Check Out This ESSENCE Festival Weekend

ESSENCE Festival officially kicks off today and most likely the hardest thing to decide besides what to wear is what to do.  The next four days in New Orleans are going to be some of the best as the more than 400,000 attendees from around the city and world take over the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, convention center, streets, hotels, and restaurants.

Whether you are making a repeat appearance or going for the first time, it can still be overwhelming.  Since its inception 24 years ago, we have personally witnessed the growth of the festival not only in attendance but in the number of activities year after year and the success of the 2017 movie, “Girls Trip” only solidified what thousands and thousands of people have been saying over the years, “you need to go at least once.”

ESSENCE is no longer the only one doing all of the planning to make this the best summer weekend ever. Individuals, businesses and organizations are also getting in on all of the actions hosting brunches, cooking demonstrations, cruises and more.  We did a little research to see what is going on and who is doing what over the weekend and guarantee that if you are going, you will have the time of your life.  Here are 15 events to put on our radar when looking for a little something extra to do, day or night.

                                                               Friday, July 6

All White Morning Boat Ride Party During New Orleans Essence Music Festival
10 am – 1 pm | Information and Tickets

Party with people in all white on all three levels on the beautiful and historical Mississippi.

Essence Fest Weekend Education Empowerment Brunch
11 am – 2 pm | Information and Tickets

Join other educators in the Crescent City to mix and mingle while enjoying live music, spoken word delicious food and mimosas.

Cocktails, Burgers & Desserts Pop-Up-Friday
10 am – 5 pm | Information (Free)

Join chef Kenneth Temple as he hosts a NOLA inspired Burger Pop-up for ESSENCE Festival weekend.

Food Fashion Taste presents the City to City Tour with Christian Green
7:30 – 11 pm | Information and Tickets

Food Fashion Taste presents the City to City Tour bringing you an intimate six-course culinary experience prepared by MasterChef finalist Christian Green.

Black Girls In Media- Essence Festival Opening Dinner
7:30 – 10:30 pm | Information and Tickets
Celebrate the beginning of Essence Festival 2018 with an intimate dinner with minority women in the media industry. The menu will consist of your choice of a fish, chicken or beef three-course meal.

Essence Happy Hour with the Guild
7:30 – 9:30 pm | Information (Free)

Urban League of Louisiana Guild at the NOPSI Hotel is partnering with ESSENCE to host fun Happy Hour with live music and complimentary drinks.

                                                     SATURDAY, July 7


Cocktails, Burgers & Desserts Pop-Up-Friday
10 am – 4 pm | Information (Free)

Join Chef Kenneth Temple as he hosts a NOLA inspired Burger Pop-up for ESSENCE Festival weekend.

Nurse Power Brunch: Essence Festival Weekend
11 am – 2 pm | Information and Tickets

The 2nd Annual Nurse Power Brunch: Essence Festival Weekend at Morton’s Steakhouse on Canal St. Kick will feature a Vendor’s Lounge full of great small business finds. Gather around to enjoy a fine dining brunch from a 5-star restaurant, good music, and great conversations to grow in your nursing role and leverage in other areas from nurse entrepreneurs.

Girls Who Brunch Tour Presents: The Inaugural New Orleans Experience 2018
11:30 am – 3:30 pm | Information and Tickets

Join Girls Who Brunch for their tour stop in New Orleans. There will be panels, food, workshops, guest speakers, live entertainment, and awards given out.

The Black Wine Experience at Essence Music Festival
1 – 4 pm | Information and Tickets

Join Hue Society’s’ BLACK EXPERIENCE WINE TASTING social taking place at Tableau Restaurant! Wine social will feature black winemakers and brands such as Maison Noir, McBride Sisters and more.

In the SoFAB Kitchen with Chef Airis Johnson
4 – 5 pm | Information (Free with admission to the Southern Food & Beverage Museum)

The Southern Food & Beverage Museum welcomes Airis “the Chef” Johnson for a cooking demonstration. A Food Network “CHOPPED” Champion, Johnson works/plays as a private chef and caterer (Airis the Chef, LLC.) and owns a line of all-natural spice blends and other food products called AIRIS FOODS.

Midnight Brunch: Festival Edition @ Eiffel Society
10 pm – 3 am | Information and Tickets

Unwind with Geaux Hard Entertainment after your Saturday Essence festivities with a delicious midnight brunch and drinks at EIFFEL Society on historic St. Charles Avenue.

The After Party Hosted by Idris Elba
10 pm – 3 am | Information and Tickets

The After Party hosted by Idris Elba with sounds by The Party King DJ Kid Capri and Janet Jackson Tour DJ Aktiv.

                                                         SUNDAY, July 8


Roses and Rosé Wine Brunch at Essence Music Festival
12 – 3 pm | Information and Tickets

A brunch celebrating women and wine. Richelieu Dennis, founder of SheaMoisture, Chairman & Founder of Essence Ventures, will be the featured guest at this event that will highlight and offer rose wines from various female winemakers in the wine industry, along with a decadent brunch, conversation and gift bag.

In the SoFAB Kitchen with Chef Jernard Wells
1 – 2 pm | Information (Free with admission to the Southern Food & Beverage Museum)

Enjoy a special cooking demonstration with celebrity chef Jernard Wells aka The Chef of Love. He will be cooking from his new “Southern Modified,” which he co-authored with Hollywood actress/culinary enthusiast Denise Boutte.

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